Featuring Trek’s lightweight OCLV Carbon frame and gravel-smoothing IsoSpeed, along with a Sram wireless electronic groupset, this is the brand’s top of the range performance gravel beast, that also comes with lots of well-thought out details…
Trek says the Checkpoint SL is for those who “want an adventure-hungry carbon gravel bike that can help you crush the toughest, longest rides”. This bike is also built to deal with gruelling gravel races such as the Dirty Kanza, Land Run 100 and Trans Iowa.
The Checkpoint SL 7 disc-brake bike pairs Trek’s lightweight 500 Series OCLV carbon frame with top quality parts, promising an “incredible ride quality on the toughest and roughest gravel adventures”.
Trek’s rear IsoSpeed keeps the diamond shaped frame geometry but “decouples” the seat tube from the top tube, enabling the seat tube to flex. The idea of this is to reduce the fatiguing impact of the terrain, allowing you to stay fresher for longer, while remaining efficient enough.
There’s also front IsoSpeed located at the top of the head set in a rocker cup. “This allows the steerer tube to flex, providing additional compliance at the front of the bike.
“The rocker cup of the upper steerer has zero lateral movement, allowing the bike to steer and handle with precision.
“IsoSpeed rides with the power transfer and handling characteristics of a traditional carbon frame but with noticeably more compliance,” says Trek.
The Checkpoint SL also has an adjustable horizontal sliding dropout with redundant securing mechanisms, this "allows for no-slip single-speed or geared options and provides the ability to dial in the geometry to match each rider’s style,” says Trek.
Rolling on 700c x 40mm Bontrager GR1 Team Issue tyres these promise to excel in fast and firm conditions, and feature a 120TPI construction for a relatively supple ride feel and Inner Strength casing for lightweight puncture protection. While 40mm tyres are specced, there’s clearance for up 45mm tyres with at least 4mm of clearance to the frame.
These gravel specific tyres are wrapped around Bontrager’s Aeolus Pro 3V OCLV Carbon wheels with tubeless ready rims. This lets you run lower tyre pressures for increased grip and comfort without the threat of pinch flats.
Extra mounts have been included on the top tube, seat tube and both sides of the down tube for lots of capacity to carry your gear.
Bontrager’s Blendr stem technology is a handy touch as it allows for clipping your gear directly to the stem for ease and clean looks.
Trek’s external Carbon Armor polymer shield has also been added to the down tube for some extra protection and added reassurance.
The SL 7 model comes kitted out with Sram’s Force eTap AXS 1x12 wireless electronic drive train for precise shifting, with a 40T chainset and wide-ranging 10-50T cassette for tackling all sorts of slopes.
Available in rage red, the Trek Checkpoint SL 7 could be your fast gravel grinder for £5,650
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.